Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin Calls For "Zero Waste at the Taste"

Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin Calls For "Zero Waste at the Taste"
Posted on 06/30/2016

ORLAND PARK, IL (June 30, 2016) - Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin has issued a challenge for the village's Taste of Orland Park 2016 --- to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills by offering on-site sorting for fest generated disposables.

Dubbed "Zero Waste at the Taste," the mayor's initiative hopes to reduce the amount of trash generated by the village's three day food and music fest that draws more than 40,000 people to the Orland Park Village Center.

"We have a great time at the Taste but we need to make an effort to sort and recycle what we can," McLaughlin said. "We've always had recycling toters at the Taste for plastics but this year we are taking it further and asking volunteers and attendees to be an active part of the program."

Taste of Orland Park 2015 generated more than 180 cubic yards of waste over three days. Village officials hope to drastically reduce that amount by inviting event attendees to sort their disposables into specially marked bins.

Collection sites at the Taste of Orland Park 2016 will offer three options--- composting, recycling or landfill. Compostable products will include alcohol cups used by restaurants, all paper products, plant based cutlery, paper plates and serving boats. Leftover food waste will go into the compostable bins. All pop and water bottles sold by restaurants will go into the recycling bins. Only items that cannot be recycled or composted will go into the landfill bins.

"When people see the can labeled ‘landfill', it's going to make them stop and think about recycling or composting their trash," McLaughlin said. "People will be able to sort their trash at the cans with volunteers there to help them."

The village's Zero Waste at the Taste Campaign includes a fundraising opportunity for area civic groups to earn up to $1200 to $1500 based on the number of volunteer hours provided.

Groups with 34 volunteers are needed Friday, August 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. A volunteer meeting with specific instructions will be held before the early August event.

Volunteers will help village staff ensure that trash is properly sorted by directing attendees to use the appropriate receptacle. Volunteers will also help sort trash into general trash, compost and recycling bins and by providing two to three volunteer supervisors that are included in the 34 group total.

All area non-profit, volunteer, church or civic groups are invited to participate as are students needing community service hours. For more information, call the village's Office of Public Information at 708/403-6286.

"The village is very excited about the Zero Waste effort and the way it ties into many of our Smart Living Green Initiatives already in place," said Village Trustee and Park and Recreation Committee Chair Pat Gira. "Orland Park's program is a great way to get the kids involved. They will be able to see what goes into each of the bins and can do their part to help."

Participating Taste of Orland Park restaurants have been asked to use only paper based plates, boats and napkins that will be collected for composting after use. Taste of Orland Park restaurants have been asked to recycle all cardboard, glass, cans and plastic generated at their booths. Compostable materials will be placed in the composting bin.

Village staff, along with community leaders, volunteers, event participants and vendors will work collectively towards reducing the amount of trash by increasing recycling efforts, and adding a composting component to the Taste.

Orland Park area civic groups, churches or clubs interested in participating in the fundraising opportunity at the Taste of Orland Park should contact the Village of Orland Park Office of Public Information office at (708) 403-6286.

"I know it's a tough challenge," McLaughlin said. "But, Orland Park has always been a leader when it comes to green programs and I know that we, as a community, can do our part to cut back on what we send to the landfill. We're excited for this new initiative and we look forward to Taste attendees of all ages being a part of zero waste at the Taste."

The Taste of Orland Park will be held Friday, August 5 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, August 6 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and on Sunday, August 7 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Taste of Orland Park is held at the Orland Park Village Center, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue. Admission and parking are free. Details can be found at http://www.orland-park.il.us/index.aspx?NID=919